From its creation in 1971, the Divine Light Mission had an important role for Prem Rawat's followers who are musicians. This role continued long after the organisation changed its name to "Elan Vital" in the early 1980s unto the 21st century's "Words Of Peace Global". Music is an important tool for reinforcing emotion, and to a large extent both mirrors, intensifies and sets the actual tone of Prem Rawat's followers' emotions. It is an important indicator of beliefs in the group and it's evolution reveals much that is not available from examination of the group's other publicly available material. It especially shows the extent of the worship of and devotion to Rawat as a divine figure and exposes the 21st century Elan Vital/WOPG revisionist history that Rawat attempted to remove the beliefs in his divinity as well as the Indian trappings of Divine Light mission in the 1970's. Even a cursory examination of the "Court Of Love" tape by "the Holy Jesters" SLT 018 released in early 1982 by Elan Communications shows that Indian style devotion was being openly promoted in the organisations even as the renaming of Divine Light Mission to Élan Vital was in progress and all public presentations of Rawat's divinity were ceased.
To a certain extent the songs have echoed Rawat's message. In the early 1970's they were stridently triumphalist, Maharaji was the King of Kings bringing in the Millenium and you should receive this Knowledge before it's too late - but how can there be a too late if he's initiating the Millenium? Then after the disaster of Millenium '73 and the failure of propagation songs naturally became more circumspect but as no media publicity was wanted and the cassettes were sold only to a premie audience songs could still reflect the adoration and worship demanded by Guru Maharaj Ji. As songs were sung in satsang meetings by local amateur musicians, song books were printed and examples include Devotional Songs and song books of DLM/EV bhajans and here.
This list of music tapes, CD and videos is not exhaustive though it's extensive and any further information and copies of media would be greatly appreciated. The high points of a premie's spiritual life are the large events where Rawat speaks. These invariably include music being performed. Rawat's speeches are mainly filler and repetition of his teachings. Listeners learn the changes in his current presentation and things he wants stressed but he is boring and definitely no orator. No-one goes home repeating sentences from his speech. They go home with song lyrics and tunes meming around inside their minds. Their youthful emotions and excitements are partly rekindled by hearing the Divine Light Mission golden oldies even if the lyrics are altered or 'Arti' is played as an instrumental. One of ironies of Rawatism is the continued singing of the song "Spread This Knowledge" after over 40 years of the failure of proselytisation. Click Here to see how the Rawatism concepts and teachings were repeated and taught in the songs.
There was virtually no group of premies anywhere who didn't have some local musicians playing devotional songs at the nightly satsang meetings. The most prominent bands and musicians included:
The most prominent, influential and long lasting singer/songwriter involved in the Rawat's career was Kim O'Leary/Field/O'Leary who performed with One Foundation during their incarnation and alone or with Geoff Bridgford for many years. She was finally replaced in the late 1990s by Rawat's daughter Daya Rawat whose voice is undistinguished but who has the family connection. O'Leary's songs along with those of her former husband, Lindsay, have provided the emotional intensity that the short, obese Rawat with his screechy voice and poor comamnd of English and boring delivery could not have inspired. These musicians, apart from Ms Rawat, have never received commensurate financial reward for the millions of dollars Rawat has received on the waves of devotion supplied by their music.
Popular romantic songs depend to some extent on repeating themes that while emotionally resonant are known to be untrue. No-one actually dies of lost love and there is more than one person with whom "true love" can be experienced. These skeptical ideas, undersandably enough, do not find their way into love songs. However many of the concepts that appear to be metaphor or hyperbole are meant to be taken literally in songs written by devotees of Prem Rawat to their Perfect Master who is God incarnate come to earth, "God in a Bod." Songs are also a good vehicle for promulgating those ideas that Rawat would find hard to repeat in public very often. These were the teachings meant for the dedicated followers not the 'new people' or the 'aspirants' who were considering involvement and were wooed by promises of easy bliss and God realisation.
Some of these concepts were so common and widely known that we hardly need to provide any evidence for songs for them. That the young Maharaji was considered to be God incarnate was a major claim and song titles such as Lord of the Universe, King of Kings, People Come to See Your Creator, Oh Perfect Lord, People Listen to the Message of the Lord, Creator of All, I Come To My Lord, Guru Is The Father were so straightforward that the lyrics were not required to know what the songs were saying.
After the fiasco of Millenium '73 and Rawat's obvious fear of the press and his humiliation at being questioned without obsequity the didacticism and triumphalism of premie song lyrics began to lessen.
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This page was last updated on August 11, 2009